GLEN — Brian Wheeler, clad in sandals instead of waders, nearly trod on a rattlesnake one day near the Kalsta Bridge.
Ever since, this stop on Wheeler’s water-quality sampling journey along the Big Hole River has been his least favorite.
In the spring of 2020, the Montana Department of Environmental Quality approved the Big Hole River Foundation’s water-quality sampling program. Wheeler, the foundation’s executive director, typically collects data from April through October at seven sites along the river and at three primary tributaries.
Brian Wheeler, executive director of the Big Hole River Foundation, fills a container while collecting water quality samples on the Big Hole River on Aug. 12.
JOSEPH SCHELLER The Montana Standard
He was back out Aug. 12, approaching the task with a clear emphasis on collecting valid data.
“It has to be done in a particular order and a particular way,” Wheeler said.
Brian Wheeler, executive director of the Big Hole River Foundation, right, speaks with volunteer Chad Ball while collecting water quality samples near Maiden Rock on